A very hot topic last year: site speed, web performance, site performance or whatever you want to call it (got better suggestions?). But how do you measure the speed of you own site? There are several tool that can measure the load times of your site, but which one is right?
First of all: what is Site Speed
The speed of a site is the time it takes from the moment a user navigates to your site (for example through a link) until the site is fully loaded and usable. But there are many factors in this period that helps keeping the visitor patient enough to wait for a full load. The first moment is the moment when the browser begins rendering a site: until that moment people have to look at a white screen where nothing happens. Then the site starts to appear on the screen bit by bit until he is usable. And the last stage is where all the images are loaded to make the site look complete.
Often I get questions about how you can tell if a Google Analytics implementation is successful. People don't want to wait at least 4 to in some cases 24 hours before they see some data... or not. That's why I will tell you how I check this seconds after the codes are placed.
How does the tracking work
Google Analytics uses pixel tracking technology to send data to the Google servers. That means that the GATC (Google Analytics Tracking Script) will put a little image on the page that is being tracked. The URL of this image looks like this: